Moisture returning to parts of the Plains
Across the Corn Belt, cool but dry weather favors corn and soybean harvest efforts in areas where fields are not too wet. On October 24, however, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-quarter surplus in Michigan (62%), Indiana (31%), and Illinois (25%). Tuesday’s Midwestern high temperatures will remain mostly below 60°F.
On the Plains, a chilly but beneficial rain is overspreading parts of Montana, where topsoil moisture (on October 24) was rated 96% very short to short—and nearly one-half (42%) of the winter wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition. Meanwhile, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork but is reducing soil moisture availability for recently planted winter grains across the southern half of the region. Tuesday’s high temperatures will reach or exceed 90°F in parts of Texas.
In the South, dry weather favors fieldwork, except in areas where heavy rain recently fell. However, Monday night’s rain eradicated emerging dryness in parts of the middle Atlantic States. Elsewhere, warm weather prevails across the Deep South, particularly in the western Gulf Coast region and across Florida’s peninsula.
In the West, the storm system that recently battered northern California and portions of neighboring states has moved inland across the northern Rockies and Intermountain West, accompanied by rain and snow showers and strong winds. Unsettled, showery weather lingers across the Pacific Northwest. Despite recent and ongoing Western precipitation, soil moisture shortages remain a concern. In the first USDA/NASS winter wheat condition report of the season, valid October 24, Oregon led the nation in winter wheat rated very poor to poor (73%), followed by California (60%).